Dissipation and distraction! No more! We don’t want to be prescriptive, but we must prescribe something! We must exclaim something now and save our word count. We must march on to at least one hundred before we avert our eyes and return for another taste of Great British Bake-Off.
Today, I swore that the busy festival in town was going to fuck everything over. It didn’t really impact anything and I ended up at work twenty minutes early on shoes with a centimeter thick sole to trod about a wooden floor for eight hours.
Then, in the last hour, my mentor and I talked about death. We had watched a young man get carted off the street on a stretcher, overheard the police question his young friend who did not have ID about what they had drunk, the friend obviously unaware of how dire the straits were for his incapacitated companion who had puked the entirety of his guts out on the street outside of the shop. This is the nature of this particular festival. It does have that rah-rah, this is our sweet tradition in our town aspect, but there’s the other side where it brings people who don’t have any real interest in where we live to come and visit us and drink until they’re physically sick. Not to shop, really, or to give any other damn for forty-eight hours. That’s uncharitable, but it is one piece of one puzzle. Damnable, necessary tourists.
But it did get us talking about dying and friends and the right-to-die amendment that is being offered for the ballot. In that last hour, suddenly, time flew by and I felt human and equal and not just retail clerk tethered to a circumstantial body.
My mentor is great. I spent some part of the day searching for a present for my mom. She anticipates feeling unwell on the day, that the drugs will make her feel some version of crap, and doesn’t want to celebrate. I both want to honor that and get her something that she could actually use. I was tempted to buy a necklace. There’s one there that I have so coveted – I may have mentioned it, I go raccoon and stare at it and freak out when anyone might attempt to contemplate buying it. But it’s 70 dollars – and that’s after my massive discount. I can’t justify it right now. I keep telling myself that I will put it on layaway, but when it’s still in the glass case, I just breathe a sigh of relief and insist that I will get it soon.
How many things do I treat this way? How do I treat myself this way? It seems a bit self-helpy, but I do think about what I forego for some future that never exactly arrives. My health, the things I say, the things I demand, the things that would improve the way I feel in a moment – even so far as just putting the water in the freezer.
Anyway, I ended up getting her a super soft, bright turquoise shirt that shouldn’t bother her skin. I want her to have it, far more than I want that necklace. So, off we go, onto our only day-off tomorrow and I am not going to think about how I’ve given you my email and what, if anything, that will mean.